february's featured artist is anna bond. she is the owner and creative director of rifle paper co. based out of winter park, florida. her shop is bursting with lovely stationary and prints. here is a little bit about anna and her store:
Tell us a little about yourself.I grew up in New Jersey (just outside New York City), went to college in Virginia, and moved to Florida for my first job as an art director. After a year or so I decided to leave my job to work as a freelance designer and illustrator and started to realize how much I loved creating stationery. My husband Nathan and I officially launched Rifle Paper Co. with our online store in November 2009 and it's been a little crazy ever since. I absolutely love what I do and am so excited about the products we're creating.
What inspired you to start Rifle Paper Co?While I was freelancing I was really trying to figure out what I wanted to do and focus on as a designer. I did all sorts of jobs, but when a few friends asked me to design their wedding invitations I fell in love. I felt like stationery was the perfect mix of illustration and design that I was looking for. I'd always loved stationery but it just clicked at that point to start my own business and really take it seriously.
Is there a story behind the name of your store?Rifle... I like to say it's the name of our little dog logo. To me, it was quirky and different and just fell into place.
You have a design background. What made you decide stationery was the thing for you?I actually started out as a fine artist. In high school I thought I would end up at an art college with a painting major but at the last minute switched to graphic design. I've always loved illustrating but design introduced me to the business and product design aspect of what I do. I love working on everything from the paintings to the packaging, marketing, and so on.
Do you have a favorite card/design?I love our assorted folk card set. I feel like it represents our style really well.
What advice would you give aspiring artists and/or entrepreneurs?I think it's important to not be afraid to fail. Starting your own company is tough and takes a lot of work but you'll never know if you can make it unless you try and give it all that you have in the process. My other favorite piece of advice that I've been given is to always be flexible. There are always curve balls thrown at you and unexpected events. You have to be able to adapt and work around the bumps in the road to keep going.
What are your 2011 goals for Rifle Paper Co?I'm working on a slew of new products that I'll be launching at the National Stationery Show in May (some before then too) and I'm really excited about the new designs. We're also launching a separate wedding & events collection with its own website where couples can order wedding stationery and other event goods.